Lights, Camera, Headshot

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

The headshot, the calling card of an actor. But what makes a great headshot and can we do anything as actors to help the photographer.

Firstly though there are many headshot photographers out there and you probably have your favourite and some recommendations. I like to change my headshot every year as I feel your look changes often and it just keeps your whole profile updated. Here are some of my favourite photographers at the minute;

Claire Newman-Williams - not the cheapest of photographers (£450 with hair and makeup) to go with but her style is clean and classic and she really knows her stuff. Based in Chippenham Claire is one of the few photographers that you can have a hair and make up artist on set as well. I would highly recommend this for both men and women as they will over see all aspects of the shot and help to bring out your best. Save up and book this shoot you won't regret it.

Jonny Bosworth - he's mainly a portrait and fashion photographer, but his skills in photography translate beautifully over to headshot photography. Based in East London he has a great style that can get across that gritty actor in you. He is up and coming in the headshot world so get in now before his rates go up. Email to find out his latest deals. 

John Clarke - the current go to headshot photographer there is. With years of experience and a very quick turn over. John Clarke has the talent to get you the headshot you need with the name that will make your agent happy. Currently charging £250 go to John Clarke if you know what you are doing and you want a great headshot.

Michael Spring - throwing his hat into the headshot photography ring is Michael Spring. He has a unique style and feel. Shot mainly outdoors, Michael will shoot for you and then you only pay for the photos you want. Great for those actors looking for professional photos at a budget. Michael is makes you feel very relaxed on the shot and loves to keep shooting until you are happy. Time is not an issue but after a couple of hours we can all lose focus so stop when you get tired.

For us actors it's important to know what you look good in. I can speak from a male point of view here and say that generally a tight fitting t-shirt is best, with some photos layered up with a jacket or a shirt for depth. A great tip I was taught is to match the t-shirt colour with that of your eyes as it will really bring them out and let's face it the eyes can sell the shot.

Speaking of the eyes when having a shoot with Claire Newman-Williams she taught me that having a line in my head as she takes photos helps to bring the picture alive. The line I chose was 'I have the gun'. I said it over and over in my head in many different ways and I could really see that there was thought in my eyes and interest in my face.

I think who ever you go with it is so important to feel comfortable. Get your friend with a camera to practice shots with you because you never know what they might be able to do and it will help you relax before you spend that all important money on a professional.

Here is the transition of my headshot since 2014:



And for an absolute laugh here is my first ever headshot when I was nine or ten. I can't remember the photographer unfortunately.

Have you got any headshot photographer recommendations?


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